Living in Detroit for the past two summers has unquestionably changed my perception of the city and of the state of Michigan. My biggest piece of advice for anyone considering interning or working in the Detroit area is to seriously think about living in the city center of Detroit instead of the suburbs. Living in the city gives you access to some of the most incredible cultural experiences to be found in the country. My time spent living in the Midtown area of Detroit put me within a few minutes walking distance of tons of interesting and top-notch museums like the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit History Museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.
It’s especially great for other students and young people because in the heart of the Midtown area is Wayne State University where there’s always something going on and the diverse student body is where I’ve made amazing friends. With the opening of the Q-Line streetcar and the MoGo bike sharing service this summer, so many different areas of Detroit are open for exploration. While fun Detroit touristy things like Tigers games and Campus Martius Park were a huge plus when I lived in Detroit, I also found that when you start to get to know a city you learn a lot more about it than what the average tourist would. The Heidelberg Project, a public art installation turned non-profit in the city’s Eastside, is just one example of this. This project was created by a native Detroiter in his family neighbor by painting houses and constructing sculptures made with everyday objects he found lying around the area. While not the first thing you might think of when coming to Detroit, sites like the Heidelberg Project abound in the city and give life to the metropolitan giant.
My two summers living and working in Detroit have truly changed my life and I hope that any other students and interns that want to try living in the area decide to live in the center of it all!